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Companies are very aware of the return on their investments—and for good reason. Tracking ROI helps determine what initiatives are moving the needle and creating a profit. But before receiving a positive return on employee training and development, companies must first invest.
Employers are generally hesitant to invest in employees because they are afraid of turnover. As a result, companies tend to simply train for the job and avoid the additional cost of development.
But what if employees stayed?
What if investing in your employees’ potential resulted in overall company growth?
What if you started developing employees to become impactful leaders who will manage the company’s future?
The companies of tomorrow are taking action by embracing a culture of learning and prioritize employee development to prevent turnover. “When employees are consistently learning, they are happy,” says David Clark, senior vice president and chief learning officer at American Express.
Employee Training vs. Management Development
Employee training and development go hand in hand. The terms are usually tied together in corporate conversation, but they have very separate definitions. Both training and development are completely necessary to invest in, but knowing their differences is important.
|Short term (business benefit)||Long term (mutual benefit)|
|Job-related tasks||Open-ended goals|
|Fulfills present needs||Future-focused|
|Company growth||Personal growth|
|Enhances hard skills (job-specific)||Enhances soft skills|
The difference between training and development has to do with the purpose and end-goal of each:
Employee training impacts a company’s immediate needs by teaching new hires how to do job-related tasks. The more technical work that can be carried out, the more bandwidth a company has to sell their services.
Employee development serves as a long term growth tool to enhance employees’ skillset, thereby creating a more valuable workforce. Well developed employees who are trained to lead will support the company culture and impact future goals.
Employee training is the process of educating and equipping new employees with technical knowledge and skills to perform job duties. Job training is a necessary component of successful onboarding to produce a high-performing workforce. But before employees can do their jobs well, they need to be empowered with the right tools of the trade.
Training is content-centric: company policies, procedures, product or service knowledge, unique value proposition, CRM software, etc. The content learned in training supports employees as they figure out the rhythm of their new jobs and workplace norms.
The modalities for training have drastically evolved with the ever-changing digital workplace. Today, eLearning is a popular and increasingly effective way to train. Modern learners are on hyperdrive and prefer to learn on-the-go, which provides them with more mobility. Companies are shifting from physical to virtual classrooms for employee training, but that’s a conversation we’ve already had…
So if employee training related to the technical aspects of a job, what is employee development?
Employee development is a deciding factor for prospective hires. A comprehensive new employee onboarding process includes career development and goal-setting because new employees expect it. 87% of millennialsreported they value and care about receiving professional development and career growth from employers.
Once a new employee joins the team, keeping them engaged (and retained) requires a whole new strategy. A healthy employee development program promotes employee retention and job satisfaction. Harvard Business Review explains that losing top talent is more costly than investing in employee development in the long run:
Dissatisfaction with some employee development efforts appears to fuel many early exits…Workers reported that companies generally satisfy their needs for on-the-job development and that they value these opportunities, which include high-visibility positions and significant increases in responsibility. But they’re not getting much in the way of formal development, such as training, mentoring, and coaching—things they also value highly.
In comparison to training, development is people-centric, focusing more on the learner than the content being learned. Development refines employees’ soft skills, encourages personal growth, plans out career goals, and more. Ongoing employee development supports company goals because it enhances team member performance.
Benefits of Employee Training and Development Programs
Everyone has heard of “mobile-first” at this point, but now it’s time to think “people-first.” Companies are profitable because of the people behind the screens. If employee training and development are not priorities, don’t expect the workforce to improve.
Investing in employees, professionally and personally, will ultimately benefit the bottom line. In the same way software requires updates, employees need—and want—to advance in their careers. Employers need to start thinking about the ROI of both training and management development (starting Day 1).
Remember, the leaders of tomorrow are developed today.
Companies need to focus on programs that will retain employees and make them assets instead of liabilities. If employees are unhappy, it’s probably safe to assume customer satisfaction is not at an all-time high. 94% of employees say they would stay with a company longer if it invested in their career development.
Employee learning and development in the workplace keeps employees active and committed to their jobs. Technical skills give employees confidence in their work, while personal development serves as a catalyst for growth.
Higher Employee Engagement
Highly engaged employees find value in their jobs and feel valued themselves, resulting in a mutual benefit. According to Gallup, employee engagement drives company growth. Employees who are more engaged at work double their odds of success compared to those who are disengaged.
When employees succeed, the business succeeds. Different methods of training can be used to increase employee engagement. Learn more about how a learning management system like Spoke® LMS can fast-track employee engagement.
Well Developed Leaders
With the increase of tech-savvy hires, the soft-skills gap is becoming more noticeable:
Soft skills—which are needed to effectively communicate, problem solve, collaborate and organize—are becoming more important for success as the workplace evolves socially and technologically. – SHRM
Employee development is a way to refine high-demand soft-skills to form influential leaders. Internal employee development also helps foster a consistent company culture. A healthy company culture provides motivation and camaraderie for employees.
Develop managers and leaders who will inspire, support the company culture, drive growth, and engage others in the process.
Employee Training, Management, and Leadership Programs
Are you ready to invest in the future of your company? The potential of your employees is waiting to be developed. At Unboxed Training & Technology, we provide award-winning industry expertise to help you train, develop, sell, and succeed. Contact us today to learn more about employee training or custom management and leadership training programs.
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